June 02, 2015 - 10:22 AM
VERNON - Police in Vernon tested drivers with an unusual distracted driving campaign Monday afternoon involving a cardboard sign that read: ‘I am not homeless.’
If you kept reading, you’d see the sign went on to say, ‘RCMPolice looking for seatbelt/cell phones.’
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says in a media release the sign was part of a campaign reminding drivers it’s illegal to use a cell phone when driving — even when stopped at an intersection.
“Did you notice this man yesterday afternoon?” Molendyk says. “Many of you didn’t.”
The cell phone and seatbelt check was conducted at the intersection of Anderson Way and 48 Avenue, and Molendyk says while police got a few thumbs up from passersby, not everyone was happy to see them.
“In one hour our officers issued eleven tickets for either using a cell phone or not wearing a seatbelt,” Molendyk says.
Cpl. Mark Taylor, the officer holding the sign, says the tactic had quite an effect on people.
“It is very interesting when most people looked (my) way and thought I was panhandling, (they) quickly looked away so that there was no eye contact,” he says.
The use of seatbelts has been mandatory for decades, and rules against using a cell phone while driving are nothing new, but many drivers are still not getting the message. Police continue to nab many drivers during patrols and focused campaigns.
“Be aware you will likely see our friendly sign man again in and around the city,” Molendyk says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015